This new poll from Monmouth is the first I’ve seen to ask about the Biden side of the Ukraine mess. More pollsters should start doing that, as the results here are mighty interesting.
Naysayers will point to the topline number and note that 42 percent is suspiciously similar to Trump’s job approval in most surveys. Why, Trump-supporting Republicans have simply chosen to believe the worst about poor Joe Biden in the name of legitimizing what the president did in his call with Zelensky! But as you can see from the partisan numbers in the table, that’s not true. A surprisingly large minority of GOPers, 16 percent, are skeptical about Trump’s charges against Biden. And a surprisingly large number of Democrats, 19 percent, are credulous about them.
Although maybe the Democratic numbers aren’t so surprising. In the middle of a presidential primary that Biden is momentarily leading, go figure that some fans of his rivals are disposed to believe the worst about him.
Either way, with 22 percent of the general public and 17 percent of Democrats undecided about Biden and Ukraine, there’s plenty of room for doubt to grow about what his intentions were in leaning on them to fire the corrupt prosecutor Shokin in 2015. Trump’s argument that Biden did something shady may end up with majority support before too long.
What about impeachment, though? Monmouth looked at that too. Result:
We now have enough numbers from multiple surveys over the past few days to draw a tentative conclusion: There’s no majority support for impeachment/removal yet, but support is rising and trending towards a majority. In fact, Monmouth noted in its write-up of these results that it’s only the second time that support for removing Trump from office (44 percent) has exceeded his job approval (41 percent). That happened once before six months ago, around the time Mueller released the summary of his findings, but it was brief. For the moment, more people would rather see Trump ousted than are willing to say that they approve of his performance.
Another result here that replicates the findings of other polls is support for the impeachment *inquiry.* Last month the public split 41/51 on that; this month they split 49/43. Every other poll I’ve seen over the past week finds at least a plurality in favor of Democrats taking a look at what went down between Trump and the Ukrainian government. That’s probably because people seem to find the facts suspicious based on what they know: When asked if it’s appropriate or not for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival, Americans split 21/63. That’s the ominous news for Trump in this data — support for impeachment could expand well into majority territory depending on how much evidence there is of Trump trying to wound Biden for his own electoral gain.
One more number for you. What’s noteworthy about this result from a different poll out today?
CNBC poll: Trump job approval drops six net points to 37-53, the lowest approval of his presidency in CNBC polling. pic.twitter.com/RoxMXjqGDN
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 1, 2019
No, it’s not the fact that his job approval is suddenly down sharply as the impeachment news bites. It’s the fact that this is the only recent poll to show that. You’d expect the uproar over Ukraine and the support for the House’s impeachment inquiry to knock a few points off of Trump’s approval rating, but it’s just not happening anywhere except in the CNBC survey. The Monmouth poll finds Trump at 41 percent, *up* a point from last month. Quinnipiac’s latest poll also saw his approval rise a point since its previous survey. Three different polls conducted last week had him in the 44-46 percent range, all of which is perfectly normal or even good by Trump standards. This is why I think all the navel-gazing about which party will be hurt most by impeachment is beside the point. Nothing affects people’s views of Trump anymore. Probably not even impeachment. I suppose if Dems are able to prove the worst-case scenario, that he really did explicitly threaten Ukraine with the loss of military aid unless they investigated Biden for him, he might slip a bit. But barring that, he’s destined to have an approval rating in the low to mid-40s on Election Day next year. No matter what happens between now and then.